Olivier Giroud injury concerns force Arsenal transfer rethink

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Arsenal medical staff are seriously concerned Olivier Giroud's ankle injury picked up during added time against Everton on Saturday evening may be more than serious than first thought, a fear than if confirmed by the results of a scan may force Gunners boss Arsene Wenger into a rethink over Lukas Podolski.

Giroud scored a dramatic injury-time equaliser at Goodison Park to earn Arsenal an unlikely point and justify Wenger's decision to bring the French forward on at half-time, but stretched his ankle ligaments soon after is now a huge doubt for Wednesday's crunch Champions League clash with Besiktas.

Arsenal have limited options at centre-forward and The Guardian believe the extent of Giroud's problem could influence Wenger's verdict on Podolski, who has been targeted by Juventus, Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen for a last-ditch switch across the continent.

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Problems for Wenger

There's no question that Wenger desperately needs Giroud fit and firing against Besiktas this week, as Arsenal look to secure Champions League qualification for the 17th successive season.

Yaya Sango deputised for his more senior strike colleague on the opening day of the season against Crystal Palace, but has been nursing a thigh complaint of his own ever since.

Wenger tried £32.5m summer signing Alexis Sanchez in that position against the Toffees but abandoned that experiment after 45 minutes, which all means Podolski could end up back in the fold on Wednesday despite appearing to be on the verge of an Emirates exit.

Podolski is if nothing else a lethal finisher in the final third and could make all the difference in a tight Champions League tie, but Arsenal are in talks to let the left-sided forward move on if they can find a permanent buyer.

Gunners medical staff continue to monitor Giroud and Sanogo at London Colney, but if they fail to recover don't be surprised to see Podolski's transfer paused for the time being as Wenger weighs up options less than a week from the transfer window slamming shut.

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